Mayor Ted Adlem will be leading the CRMG slate in November’s civic election with the support of at least three councillors.
Couns. Larry Nundal and Dave Hensman, who are members of Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CRMG), will also be seeking re-election, but the team will not disclose the names of the other four candidates until later this year.
Meanwhile, a long-served, now retired Mission politician isn’t ready to officially declare his run for the mayor’s seat in November’s civic election, but he recently told The Record he’s “99 per cent there.”
Rumours have been circulating about a political comeback for Randy Hawes for more than two months.
“I think I have something to add,” said Hawes, a former MLA and mayor, who retired from politics when he didn’t run in the 2013 provincial election.
“I feel strongly about this community,” said Hawes, who has lived in Mission with his family since 1979. “I’m hearing from an awful lot of people who are telling me to run.”
Hawes, 67, criticized council’s inaction to ensure homes with marijuana grow operations are remediated, its reluctance to proceed with amendments to the phased development agreement with developers Genstar and Madison, and its plan to revitalize downtown.
Adlem said he has enjoyed his first term as mayor, but noted three years isn’t long enough to see projects through.
“In three years you get to start a lot of things,” said Adlem. “Under my leadership, the fiscal situation in the district has never been better.”
The line on property taxes was held in two of the three years and taxes increased by 1.5 per cent in the third year, he pointed out.
New development revenue was increased by $1.5 million in the past three years.
“When we say there is a zero per cent tax increase, it doesn’t mean there is a zero per cent revenue increase.”
Adlem believes Mission is now the most “business-friendly community in B.C.” and plans to continue bringing developers into Mission.
Coun. Jenny Stevens said she is feeling good and intends to run for a sixth consecutive term on council.
Due to poor health, Stevens acknowledged she can’t participate in active volunteer work anymore, and serving on council is the “only way I can contribute to my community now.”
Stevens will be supporting Adlem’s bid for mayor in November, but will not run with a slate again.
All current council members were elected in 2011 under the CRMG banner, but four of the seven councillors have since resigned from the group. Coun. Nelson Tilbury left in 2012 after realizing his views were more conservative. Stevens and Couns. Jeff Jewell and Tony Luck broke away from the slate early this year after an irreconcilable split. They also publicly stated they had a lack of confidence in the mayor. The break occurred after Tilbury suggested Hensman may have been in a conflict of interest for holding a lease on a building about a block away from a property the district purchased as part of a downtown revitalization project. Hensman participated in the unanimous council vote to approve the acquisition. The four independently sitting councillors wanted the matter referred to B.C. Supreme Court for a ruling but the motion failed because it did not receive a two-thirds majority in support.
Luck has told The Record he will be putting his name forward in November’s election, but has not decided yet whether he will seek the mayor’s seat or a councillor chair.
Jewell, who recently underwent heart surgery, has not fully committed to running, but is “very close.”
He believes the current council has gotten past the “fracture” and is working well together. Tilbury does not plan to make an announcement until after the summer.